Green Wall and Climate Strategy

Work will begin next month on The Forum’s green wall, set to increase bio-diversity and reduce both noise and air pollution.

The green wall, that will see plants cover an area of around 600 square metres, will sit on the development’s new 398-space multi-storey car park.

It will help to cool the building during hot weather as well as increasing biodiversity by attracting pollinators and helping to absorb sound.

The ambitious new green infrastructure on the £107m development by Gloucester City Council and partners Reef Group, underlines the council’s commitment to addressing climate change.

The building itself has been built with eco credentials in mind, and has an Energy Performance Rating A rating. It will be net-zero carbon in operation with electricity produced through renewable methods including rooftop solar panels.

The car park will have 39 electric vehicle charge points and ambitious plans to bring even more to council car parks will be brought before the council's Cabinet meeting in March.

News that work is due to begin on the installation follows the recent unveiling of the Gloucester city Climate Change Strategy and Climate Risk Assessment, which set out the council’s plans to reach net zero emissions by 2030.

This includes increasing the use of green energy sources, driving down energy consumption at council buildings, and using biofuels in its vehicle fleet.

It also sets out a goal of carbon neutrality across the city by 2045 through improved household energy efficiency, improving recycling rates and helping people switch to electric vehicles by installing more charging points.

The strategy, which will go out to consultation following Full Council in March, builds on the Gloucester City Plan, announced last year that guides local development and requires developers to take steps such improving the natural environment and increasing biodiversity.

Work will also begin next month on the next phase of improvements to Westgate Street funded by Historic England and the city council, that will see the installation of trees and planters for shade, and the planting of bio-diverse varieties to attract pollinators and to help address air quality. 

Councillor Richard Cook, Leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “As a council we have a major role in doing everything we can to address climate change. We need to lead the way and show just what organisations can do to work towards being carbon neutral and to prepare for the changes in our climate. Taking innovative steps such as increasing the amount of trees and plants we have in the city will help us to cope better with hotter summers, with last year the UK having its first day above 40C. Green walls help to cool and insulate buildings and the temperature beneath trees can be up to 12 degrees cooler.”